This past weekend, my friends and I took a trip to New York City! It’s been a while since I’ve been to NYC, and it was amazing to be able to experience the city for a few days. Of course, while we were there, we spent a long time seeing and experiencing art. NYC has so many resources when it comes to the art world. There are so many museums to visit, big and small, and, during our weekend stay, we visited two of them.

The first was the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As a student, it is recommended that you pay $12 as admission; however, you’re free to pay however much you have or can. The museum itself is mind blowing and beautiful. Some of the rooms are enormous, with high ceilings and intricate decoration, and that’s without even mentioning how much incredible art lives there. Their permanent collection is HUGE, and, even though we were there for hours, we didn’t even make a dent in the collection. If you ever make a trip there, check out the sculpture galleries and the Met’s enormous collection of artifacts– the Egyptian room, especially!

After taking a quick break for lunch, we headed to the MoMA, or the Museum of Modern Art. I’d never been to this museum before and, as an avid fan of all things contemporary art, I was really excited to see it. (Also, a few semesters ago, I designed a brochure for MoMA!). I think, of all the places we visited this weekend, MoMA was my favorite. There are so many amazing pieces of work to see here– we saw a whole room filled with Andy Warhols, two or three Pollocks, Van Gogh, Monet, and a Gustav Klimt, among so many others. In almost every room we were in, I could recognize one or two pieces, either from my general knowledge or from an art history class I’d taken along the way. It’s so important to experience art, not just learn about it in a classroom, so, if you’re looking to see some amazing modern art, the MoMA is definitely the way to go. Admission is $14 with a student ID.

Back to the Drawing Board (Literally)

And I’m back at NESAD (but honestly, it feels like I never left…)

Spring classes started up this week! I’m enrolled in five classes, four studios at NESAD and one academic course on Suffolk’s main campus. So far, I’m really excited about all of them! I’m taking two Graphic Design courses: Graphic Design IV and Web Design II. It’s nice to get back into the swing of designing again, but I will admit, it’s going to take me a while to get used to waking up for class and having hours of homework. Our first project in GD IV is to design a postage stamp for a non-profit organization. I chose Girl Effect; their mission is to educate and empower young girls to help them realize their potential and make positive social change as adults. I’m excited to take on this challenge, although designing in a space that is literally the size of a postage stamp will definitely take some thought.

The other two studios I have are Illustration II and Printmaking Studio. These two classes, although very relevant to Graphic Design, are much more exploratory for me. I’ve always been interested in both illustration and printmaking, so it’s cool that, as a Senior, I have a chance to explore different types of art. We’ve already started projects in both these classes, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how I can use these skills in my professional career as a Graphic Designer. Finally, I’m also taking Women, Art, & Society, which is a history elective class. It’ll be interesting to learn about women artists in history as well as in the contemporary art world, and I’m excited to build my knowledge base in art history.

So here’s to a new (and my last) semester! I’ll be keeping you updated about everything I do this year, so stay tuned!

& It’s Over!

The Fall semester is officially over! It is the biggest relief being done with classes. This semester has been such a whirlwind and, even though I’ve learned so much, it’s been stressful and busy so I’m excited to take a break from school. It’s the first vacation I’ve really had, having taken classes last winter and summer, so I can’t wait to bum around for a month :)

Finals week was, surprisingly much easier than I thought it would be. The week before, I’d finished all of my projects, so I spent the weekend before finals adjusting and cleaning up my portfolio. In my Professional Practice class, we’d focused all semester on building a portfolio for job interviews, so the transition into my final review was much easier. For NESAD final reviews, Graphic Design seniors are required to put together a portfolio of 10-12 pieces of your best work from the program, and present the work to a panel of three faculty members. My review went really well, and I’m excited to get their feedback back in the beginning of January. Reviews are always nerve-wracking, but every time I present my work, it’s just another chance to practice before diving into the real world. Eek!

I also had my History of Graphic Design final this past week. The test was just like our midterm: a combination of multiple choice, true or false, matching, and image identification. I’ll admit, I left this exam feeling less confident than the last one, but I’m sure I did well. It’s always really difficult to study for history tests because there is just so much information to memorize…!

The last week at NESAD is always busy, but this year, I felt more sad than anything. It’s starting to hit me that I only have one semester left here. One semester left at this school that I’ve spent three years building a relationship with. One semester left with all my friends in this environment. One more semester at NESAD! And, even though it’s sort of sad and terrifying and weird, it’s also teaching me to enjoy every moment I have here; to go out, spend time with my beautiful friends, and make great work. In one semester, I could be going anywhere, so why not enjoy every single second I have here?

Have a wonderful winter break, everyone – see you in January!


It’s been so long since I’ve blogged! The last two weeks have been absolutely insane. I’ve turned in the vast majority of my huge projects, and am looking forward to finishing this week. Of course, I’ve got another week of finals to look forward to after that, but, at the end of next week, I’ll officially be a second-semester Graphic Design senior. How insane is that?!

Today, I finished my final project for my Packaging Design class. This was, by far, the most labor intensive project all year. We were required to conceptualize and brand either a chocolate shop or a pastry shop from the bottom up. I created a logo, packaging suite, and a carry away item (aka a shopping bag-type product, for those not in know with packaging lingo).

This is the concept statement for my packaging line:

The inspiration behind Storybook Chocolates came from the rich and elegant storytelling of British children’s authors. These authors are known for their stories that have stood the test of time. They are an integral part of childhood, growing up, and the magic of literature. This parallels directly with chocolate, a sweet treat that is often associated with youth.

The three products exhibited in this set of high-end chocolates is a set of three chocolate bars, dark chocolate truffles, and dark chocolate covered honeycomb candies. Each piece is directly inspired by a classic British children’s author and one of their books. Elements are pulled directly from the individual book to tie the chocolate to its packaging; however, the products as a set are linked together by style, pattern, color choice, and repeated elements.

The overall narrative of Storybook Chocolates reflects the spirit of children’s literature. It is unique, classic, and elegant, and, through the use of narrative and imagery, echos the wonder and magic of books. It appeals to the spirit of wonder inside everyone, whether it be a child or just the children at heart.

Although the packaging suite was incredibly consuming, it was very rewarding. Having such a strong piece in my portfolio was well-worth the few sleepless nights I spent designing, printing, and building so many packages. I’m so relieved and excited that it’s done and that it came out so beautifully!

On an unrelated note, my 22nd birthday is on Friday. What a perfect way to end this crazy week!


Making Magik

It’s the first week of November and all my classes are in full-force. There’s only about a month left in the semester, so every class is going full out with assignments. And even though it’s stressful, it feels good to be kept busy this time of year. The changing of the seasons always bums me out, so being able to dive into work is a great way to distract myself from the gloom and doom of winter coming.

My current project in my Packaging class is to create a brand of cosmetics. We are required to choose four items to design and build packaging for, either redesigning a current brand or creating a new one from scratch. We were assigned partners, so it’s not only an exercise in design but also in working as a team. My partner C. and I have created a brand of makeup that targets alternative girls, a subculture that is somewhat misrepresented in cosmetics marketing. It’s called Black Magik, and ties in images and elements from dark magic, like tarot cards and astronomy symbols, to appeal to the girl looking for black lipstick in retail stores (which, believe me, is almost impossible!). We decided to make it a new brand of MAC Cosmetics, and used the MAC logo in our logo as well. Here’s a sneak peek at the logo we created… when the project is finished and photographed, I’ll upload the finished product!


On a more fun note, Halloween was also this week! Although I rocked a few different costumes this week, my friends and I did a group costume: Scooby Doo & the Zombie Apocalypse. We created all of the costumes ourselves– amazing what a group of determined art students can create. I hope everyone had a safe and fun Halloween!

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Midterms & Advising Week

Last week was midterms week! This is usually when the school year gets insane (although this year, it’s been pretty crazy since September…). Luckily for me, I only had one midterm this semester. I’m taking History of Graphic Design– it is required for all GD majors. It is important, as a designer, to be aware of the trends and history that preceded you. The different eras of design in the past, such as Art Nouveau, have had a big influence on design today. Our midterm was enormous! We covered 12 chapters of material, so studying for the test was really intense. The test was made up of multiple choice, true/false, definition matching, and image identification. And although it was challenging, I did really well. It’s amazing how much information you can retain if you pay attention and make an active choice to involve yourself in the material. I’m honestly just glad it’s over– no more art history exams until finals week!

Yesterday, I had my advising meeting with my Program Director to figure out my schedule for my last semester at Suffolk. It was so weird, hearing her tell me that I had to fill out my Intent to Graduate form. It’s actually happening, I’m only a semester away from graduating and starting my next adventure in the real world– which is equal parts exciting and terrifying. I’m taking 5 classes next semester: Graphic Design IV, Illustration for Designers, Web Design II, Printmaking, and Art of India (art history). I’m actually pretty pleased with how my schedule looks for the spring. I do have an all-day Friday class, which isn’t ideal, but in exchange for the Friday class, I only have a night class once a week. All my classes seem to be exciting and, although I know it’ll be a busy spring, I can’t wait!

No One Belongs Here More Than You

Last week, my friend E and I went to go see Miranda July at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. First off, if you’ve never been to the ICA, GO! I love contemporary art, and it’s my favorite museum in Boston by far. There are always amazing artists and performers featured at the ICA, and every talk I’ve seen has been incredibly inspiring. Seeing Miranda July was no exception.

I’ve always been a huge fan of Miranda July. She is an author, filmmaker, and artist, and I’ve been following her work for years. Her show at the ICA was a performance piece called SOCIETY:

At the ICA, July risks all with a unique experiment in collaboration. A Boston premiere, SOCIETY blends fiction and real life, intertwining the histories and talents of the audience with a startling chronicle of time, love, and group faith. On this very special one-off night, July will be debuting new material and playing with the limits of what is possible given two hours and a room full of strangers.

As the summary says, SOCIETY was a performance art collaboration between Miranda July and us, the audience, about the possibility of creating a “new society” during the duration of her show. I was completely and totally enthralled the entire time. Miranda was hilarious, poignant, quirky, and captivating, and I left at the end of the evening feeling inspired to go home and create.

Anyone can fall in love with a piece of art, and I completely fell in love with her work. If you’re interested in reading more about Miranda July and her work, visit her website. I also recommend that you, whatever you’re interested in or whatever major you are, go visit the ICA. It is a beautiful museum filled with incredible contemporary artwork, you won’t regret it!

Fresh New Look

I’m finally finished with my Trader Joe’s packaging redesign! It was such a long time coming; there were so many revisions and reprints, it was unbelievable. I can honestly say I think I could fold my dielines with my eyes closed. But it’s well-worth it. We had our critiques on Monday, and my professors gave me really great feedback. I’m really excited with what I came up with, and can’t wait to get my hands dirty with the next project: cosmetics packaging!

This week, I also finished up my Graphic Design III project. Our assignment was to design packaging for a toy car. The challenges: you cannot use any form of tape at all (meaning the packaging must be held together by folds and tabs only), you must have the car visible through the use of a window, and each piece of the packaging, back and front, needs to be used to the fullest. It was a very difficult process, from the ideas stage all the way into production, but I’m happy with how it came out. My class’s pieces will be on display in the hallways this week, so go ahead and take a look at what we’ve all come up with!

Advising starts next week (!). So, during the next week, I’ll be going through the class schedules for the spring– my official last semester at NESAD… unreal. And it’s midterm week… I have my History of Graphic Design midterm coming up this Tuesday. Good luck on your midterms, study hard!

Trader Joe’s Redesign

Yet another busy week. I probably shouldn’t be surprised by this, every week is turning out to be busier than than the last.

I’ve finally made some serious headway in my Packaging class! We’re doing a full brand redesign for a local grocery store. I was randomly assigned to Trader Joe’s, which I was actually really excited about. I’m a big fan of Trader Joe’s, so being able to create a new and unique approach to their brand is a really fun assignment. I decided to take their identity a different direction, and focused on the element of freshness and organic products. Even though a good portion of their products are imported, Trader Joe’s caters to special diets and families looking for fresh and healthy food, so I decided to embrace this consumer mindset and create a fresher and greener (literally) approach to their packaging.

The logo I created echoes this idea of freshness by using the symbol of a leaf. It also incorporates hand-drawn typography, a style element that they use in their stores and packaging already. For the packaging, I incorporated the leaf shape into construction elements of each of my four groceries. Although it’s only in the mock-up stage, I love the way they look standing together, and I’m excited to fill up the white spaces with my own designs!

The final packaging mock-ups are due next Monday… it’s going to be a busy weekend. See you on the other side!

Professional Practice & Packaging!

The first month of classes are wrapping up, and, though I’m still in the process of completing my assignments, I’m really excited about my classes this semester. It’s been crazy already– I think honestly that this is the busiest semester I’ve had in the last 4 years at Suffolk. And it’s only going to get more intense from here!

As a senior, I’m required to take Professional Practice this fall. The class’s purpose is to prepare us for life as a graphic designer post-graduation. I’m really grateful to have this class because, to be honest, I don’t know what’s ahead of me after I leave school in a year. So far, we’ve worked on our resumes and cover letters and, now, we’ve started taking an in-depth look at our portfolios. Peter, my professor, gives really great, honest, and smart advice, and I’ve learned so much in only a few classes. I can’t wait to see how the next two semesters go and where I’ll end up after it’s done…!

In my Packaging class (which is a studio elective), we’ve been working on redesigning Trader Joe’s. We’re required to come up with packaging concepts for four items. I’ve chosen olive oil, tissues, coffee grounds, and frozen waffles. It’s really interesting to redesign an existing brand. The hardest part is to come up with something original, while still staying true to the message of the store. I’ve decided to take Trader Joe’s approach to food in a new direction, with a focus on freshness. So far I’ve done some work on their new logo, and have begun choosing some unique packaging solutions. It’s been really challenging, but I’m excited to see what comes of it.

Last week of September– let’s make it count!


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